The biggest surprise of the 2016 election was, of course, Donald Trump’s breach of the “blue wall” upon which the Democrats depended to hold back the howling MAGA hordes. It was the fissures in that fabled fortification that brought tears to the eyes of all those Clinton supporters watching dumbfounded as the dreaded “deplorables” invaded their safe electoral spaces. The Democrats have attempted to repair the damaged wall, but it has only weakened further as the unemployed voters who took a chance on Trump have found jobs. They won’t desert him next year, which means the crumbling blue ramparts will completely collapse in 2020.
These voters, many of whom found themselves out of work for the first time in their lives during the Obama years, see the resurgence of the job market since the last election as a promise kept by the president. In states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, unemployment has plummeted. In Pennsylvania, for example, Obama and his Democratic accomplices declared war on coal and drove unemployment to a peak of 8.8 percent. It was still 5.2 percent when President Trump took office. Unemployment is now 3.9 percent. In 2016, the President won Pennsylvania by 44,292 votes, less than 1 percent. He will win by a far larger margin next year.
The story is much the same in Michigan. Trump’s predecessor and the Democrats spent years coddling foreign trade partners like China, allowing the state’s manufacturing jobs to evaporate. Unemployment peaked at an outrageous 14.6 percent, and it was still at 5 percent when President Trump took office and dropped as low as 3.9 percent last summer. It has hovered around 4 percent since. The voters who are now back at work are those “forgotten Americans” whom Trump courted in 2016, much to the amusement of the media. As in Pennsylvania, he won Michigan by well under 1 percent. The margin will not be nearly that small in 2020.
Because Wisconsin had a Republican governor and legislature during the Obama era, it didn’t suffer as badly as Pennsylvania and Michigan. Nonetheless, Trump did motivate a lot of the state’s “forgotten Americans.” This allowed Trump to win in yet another squeaker. And, despite the Badger State’s relatively low unemployment rate, it has nonetheless declined from 3.6 percent to 3 percent. This isn’t likely to turn voters off. Indeed, a recent poll confirms that Trump is more popular in Wisconsin than when he won in the state in 2016. Dan Pfeiffer, a former adviser to erstwhile President Obama, has bad news for the Democrats:
According to our poll, his approval in Wisconsin is 48-51 percent.… Trump’s approval on the economy is even higher.… This has given Republicans a 10-point advantage on the question of which party voters trust to handle the economy and jobs.… Anyone who thinks Trump will be easy to beat in Wisconsin is sorely mistaken, and the path to the White House for a Democrat gets very narrow without Wisconsin.
And the news gets worse. It appears that the labor unions are having difficulty convincing their members to cast their ballots against President Trump. In fact, one of the places they are having the most difficulty is in yet another section of the blue wall that Trump nearly won last time and may well win in 2020. Minnesota has historically been a safe Democratic stronghold, but Trump lost it by a mere 1.5 percent. The Wall Street Journal points out that Trump did better with union members in 2016 than any Republican candidate since Reagan and describes the following conversations with two union officials in Duluth, Minnesota:
Scott Johnson, business manager of Local 210 of the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers, said he thinks about 50% of the local supports the president.… Working a few feet away in the same office at the union hall was Ted Lunger, who worked for 15 years as a roofer and is a huge Trump supporter. He said he likes the president’s stands on immigration and the Second Amendment.
If Johnson is right about the number of union members who will vote for Trump in Minnesota, that will probably blow another 10-elector hole in the blue wall. And he plans to aim his campaign’s trebuchet at yet another state he lost by only a few votes. In 2016, he lost New Hampshire by a mere 3,000 votes, and there are indications that some if not all of those ballots were cast by ineligible voters. As the Washington Times reports, “More than 6,500 people registered to vote in New Hampshire on Nov. 8 using out-of-state driver’s licenses, and since then the vast majority have neither obtained an in-state license nor registered a motor vehicle.”
Since then, Republican New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu signed a bill into law meant to make voter fraud more difficult. Trump could well win the Granite State this time, and that will knock another hole in the increasingly unstable ediface. Another state the Trump campaign plans to target is Nevada, which he lost by only two points in 2016. By winning all the states he won in 2016 plus Minnesota, Nevada, and New Hampshire, Trump will win re-election and reduce the fabled blue wall to rubble. Can you see any of Trump’s potential Democratic opponents stopping the wall’s demolition with pie-in the-sky promises while the economy continues to grow and create jobs?